Friday, February 28, 2014





Music Hall
May 15-16, 2015
California State University, Los Angeles


This conference is free and open to the public.


Mariano Azuela (Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, 1873-1952) was a medical doctor by profession and by mid-century one of Mexico’s leading writers. The author of novels, plays, biographies, and literary criticism, Azuela served as field doctor under Francisco Villa during the Mexican Revolution and, after Villa’s military defeat, published Los de abajo (The Underdogs) while in exile in El Paso, Texas. This conference on Azuela commemorates the first centenary of the publication of Los de abajo (1915) and aims to trace its narrative affiliation to twentieth-century autobiographies, memoirs ,and, more specifically, narratives of the Mexican Revolution.

The program for the Conference on Mariano Azuela and the Mexican Revolution includes eight keynote and featured speakers, representing Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Six sessions on various conference-related topics complete the conference program.  To view the biographies and lecture abstracts of speakers and panelists, scroll down to the end of the online conference program. The 2015 Conference on Mariano Azuela and the Novel of the Mexican Revolution is the result of a close collaboration of Mexican and U.S. faculty, made possible by Cal State L.A.'s Office of the President, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series, the College of Arts and Letters, the College of Natural and Social Sciences, the Department of Chicano Studies, the Department of English, the Emeriti Association at Cal State L.A., and the joint sponsorship of Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, the Latin American Institute (UCLA), and the Center for Mexican Studies (UCLA). For questions on the conference, contact:
  rcantu@calstatela.edu or call (323) 343-2195.




Conference Program



Friday, May 15

Registration:
8:30-9:00 a.m.
Music Hall
California State University, Los Angeles




INTRODUCTION AND WELCOME
9:00-9:30 A.M.
Music Hall


WELCOME 



President William A. Covino
California State University, Los Angeles




Roberto Cantú & Conference Co-Organizers, Emily Acevedo (Cal State L.A.), Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez (UNAM), Rubén Quintero (Cal State L.A.), 
and Maarten Van Delden (UCLA).


Introduction by Roberto Cantú.
(Photo by Michael Sedano)


Left to Right: Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez, 
Maarten Van Delden,
Emily Acevedo, and Rubén Quintero.
(Photo by Michael Sedano)











Plenary Session #1
Mariano Azuela:
Su Narrativa y Recepcion en la Historia Literaria de México

Friday, May 15, 9:30-10:35 a.m.
Music Hall

Moderator:  Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Panelists:

1. “Mariano Azuela, la Novela de la Revolución y la Revolución Mexicana vistos por los Escritores Españoles”
Aurora Díez-Canedo, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

2. “Recepción de Mariano Azuela por parte de los Contemporáneos”
María de Lourdes Franco Bagnouls, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

3. “Experimentalismo y representación urbana en La Luciérnaga de Mariano Azuela”
Yanna Hadatty Mora, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

4. "Accidentes de tráfico: Itinerario de Mariano Azuela"
Fernando Curiel Defossé, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México


Photo by Michael Sedano



Left to Right: Fernando Curiel Defossé, 
María de Lourdes Franco Bagnouls, 
Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez, Yanna Hadatty Mora, 
Aurora Díez-Canedo.


















In the audience (left to right): Dean Scott R. Bowman (NSS),

and Dean Peter McAllister (A & L). 





Theatrical Performance of Los de abajo
A scene from the novel 

Friday, May 15,10:40-11:00  a.m.
Music Hall

Alejandra Flores
Mexican Actress
Founder and Director of
Los Angeles Theatre Academy

And Cast:


Photo by Michael Sedano

Martina Alemán*
Humberto Amor
Rafael Caldern
Selina De Len*
Mary Carmen Hurtado
Henry Madrid
Ted Owens (guitar)
Cristbal Palma*
Juan Carlos Parrilla*
Leily Sánchez

*Cal State L.A. Alumni












Antonieta Rivas Mercado next to Mariano Azuela and cast.
Theatrical adaptation of Los de abajo  
Teatro de la Secretaría  de Educaciόn  Pública
(former Teatro Hidalgo)
Mexico City, 17 March 1929









Featured Speaker #1
Friday, May 15, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Music Hall

Niamh Thornton
University of Liverpool, United Kingdom


Photo by Michael Sedano






Title of Lecture:

"A Question of Taste:
the Cinematic Adaptations of Los de Abajo"

Moderator:

Louis R. Negrete
California State University, Los Angeles


Luncheon Break: 12:00-1:00 p.m.




Featured Speaker #2
Friday, May 15, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Music Hall

Michael Nava
Novelist & Attorney,
California Supreme Court, San Francisco 
  


Photo by Michael Sedano






Title of Lecture:

“Los Léperos: Attempting to Fictionally Reconstruct Racial Relationships in the Twilight of the Porfiriato”

Moderator:

Emily Acevedo
California State University, Los Angeles







Session #2
Mariano Azuela and the Narrative Cycle of the Mexican Revolution
Friday, May 15, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Music Hall


Left to Right: Julio Puente García, Rubén Quintero, 
Jacqueline Zimmer, and Cheyla Samuelson. 




Yunsook Kim (with laptop)

Moderator: Rubén Quintero, California State University, Los Angeles

Panelists:

 1. “El último lector (2005) de David Toscana y la vigencia de Juan Rulfo en la creación de una narrativa regional mexicana en el Siglo XXI”
Julio Puente García, University of California, Los Angeles

2. “Jean-Luc Nancy’s Mythical Community in Carlos Fuentes’ Gringo viejo
Jacqueline Zimmer, Louisiana State University

3. “Relearning the Revolution: The Contemporary Relevance of the Novela de la Revolución in the Classroom at San José State University”
Cheyla Samuelson, San José State University

4. "'Los árboles no dejan ver el bosque': Proceso dialéctico connotativo
ético de las palabras arriba-abajo en Los de abajo
Yunsook Kim, Azusa Pacific University 


Photo by Michael Sedano





 Session #3


A Book Presentation:
The Reptant Eagle:  Essays on Carlos Fuentes 
and the Art of the Novel

Friday, May 15, 3:40-4:45 p.m.


Left to Right: Maarten Van Delden, 
Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez, 
Florence Olivier, Iliana Alcántar, Michael Abeyta, 
and Roberto Cantú.









Moderator: Roberto Cantú, California State University, Los Angeles
Presenters:

 1. “The Farce of Lordship and Sovereignty in Terra Nostra: Fuentes’s Bataillean Burlesque of Hegel’s Dialectic”
Michael Abeyta, University of Colorado, Denver

2. “Del Boom al Boomerang: Carlos Fuentes y la Nueva Narrativa Mexicana”
Iliana Alcántar, Reed College, Oregon

3.Carlos Fuentes y Diego Rivera: Protagonistas creadores de dos ‘Renacimientos’”
Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

4. “Coloquio del sueño y la razón en Terra nostra
Florence Olivier, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle (CERC), France

5. “Hands-on Modernism: Touch and Gesture in Carlos Fuentes’s The Death of Artemio Cruz
Maarten Van Delden, University of California, Los Angeles






Featured Speaker #3
Friday, May 15, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Music Hall

Maarten Van Delden
University of California, Los Angeles







Title of Lecture:

"Carlos Fuentes:
Many Mexicos, Many Revolutions"

Moderator:

Emily Acevedo
California State University, Los Angeles






Featured Speaker #4

Saturday, May 16, 9:00-10:00 a.m.
Music Hall

Max Parra
University of California, San Diego





Title of Lecture:


"Fotografía y la literatura
de la Revolución Mexicana" 

Moderator:

Louis R. Negrete
California State University, Los Angeles










Featured Speaker #5

Saturday, May 16, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Music Hall

Heribert von Feilitzsch
Historian, 20th-Century German-Mexican Diplomatic Relations







Title of Lecture:

“Medical Doctor, Occultist, Revolutionary, Spy:
Arnold Krumm-Heller
and the Mexican Revolution”

Moderator:

Rubén Quintero
California State University, Los Angeles







Featured Speaker #6

Saturday, May 16, 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Music Hall

Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México






Title of Lecture:

“La Crítica Literaria de Mariano Azuela”

Moderator:

Maarten Van Delden
University of California, Los Angeles





Luncheon Break: 12:00-1:00 p.m.

Richard Soto displays his Mexican Revolution memorabilia
as part of the conference




á
Sara González


Left to Right: Alfredo Morales, Sara González, and René Morales
 



Featured Speaker # 7

Saturday, May 16, 1:00-2:00 p.m.
Music Hall

Florence Olivier
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, France






Title of Lecture:


"Épica en modo menor o guerrilla narrativa 
en Cartucho, de Nellie Campobello"

Moderator:

Deborah Conway de Prieto
California State University, Los Angeles




Mariano Azuela and the Mexican Revolution:
Narrative Representations of Colonialism, War, and Revolutionaries

Saturday, May 16, 2:00-3:30 p.m.
Music Hall




Center: Michael Abeyta

Left to Right: Emily Acevedo
and Michael Abeyta

Sophie Esch




Ariel Zatarain Tumbaga and Amber Workman

Ariel Zatarain Tumbaga



Moderator: Emily Acevedo, California State University, Los Angeles
Panelists:

 1. “The Tremendous Reality of Firing Squads”
Sophie Esch, Colorado State University

2.“Indigeneity and Colonialist Perspectives in the Novel of the Revolution”
Ariel Zatarain Tumbaga, Southern Oregon University

3. “The ‘Man-Beast’ and the Jaguar: Mariano Azuela, Martín Luis Guzmán and the Sovereign Beast in the Literary Representation of Pancho Villa”
Michael Abeyta, University of Colorado, Denver

4. "'Ésta me cuadra y me la llevo': El saqueo, el analfabetismo y las disposiciones estéticas en Los de abajo
Amber Workman, Pepperdine University, California







Plenary Session #2
Mariano Azuela y Nellie Campobello
Saturday, May 16, 3:45-4:50 p.m.
Music Hall


Domnita Dumitrescu


 
Iliana Alcántar


Yolanda Padilla

Ute Seydel

Moderator: Domnita Dumitrescu, California State University, Los Angeles

Panelists:

1. “La Revolución Mexicana a través de la lente/mirada femenina”
Iliana Alcántar, Reed College, Oregon

2.Literary Revolution in the Borderlands: Mariano Azuela and the Mexican American Novel of the Mexican Revolution”
Yolanda Padilla, University of Washington, Bothell

3. “Dos perspectivas sobre los revolucionarios villistas: Mariano Azuela y Nellie Campobello”
Ute Seydel, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México








Keynote Speaker

Saturday, May 16, 5:00-6:00 p.m.
Music Hall

Kristine Vanden Berghe
Université de Liège, Belgium
Mexicanistas de la Universidad de California











Title of Lecture:

Postura y ethos de Nellie Campobello”

Moderator:

Roberto Cantú
California State University, Los Angeles



Farewell and see you at Cal State L.A. in 2016!


All photos by Michael Cervantes
(unless otherwise credited),
Conference Photographer,
Cal State L.A. Alumnus








Keynote and Featured Speakers:

Titles of Lectures, Abstracts and Biographies






Kristine Vanden Berghe
Université de Liège, Belgium
Mexicanistas de la Universidad de California


Title of Lecture:

Postura y ethos de Nellie Campobello”


Entre los misterios que rodean a la escritora Nellie Campobello se encuentra un dato que hasta ahora sigue topando con la incomprensión de los críticos literarios. En cierto momento Campobello empezó a afirmar que había nacido en 1909 mientras que se confirmó después de su muerte que en realidad vio la luz en 1900, como siempre se había pensado antes de la declaración de la autora. En mi ponencia presentaré la hipótesis de que la mentira de Campobello sobre su edad influye en la lectura de su obra de ficción, particularmente en el ethos que se construye en Cartucho y en la postura que intenta crearse como escritora de la revolución mexicana.  La “adaptación” de su fecha de nacimiento asimismo le permite posicionarse frente a los otros escritores que tratan del tema, enfrentamiento del que Campobello excluyó a Martín Luis Guzmán, por razones afectivas pero sin duda también ideológicas e intelectuales.

Dr. Kristine Vanden Berghe is Professor of Hispanic Literatures at the University of Liege (Belgium) and is member of the UC Mexicanistas association of scholars. Her main áreas of interest are the literature and culture of Mexico and Latin America of the nineteenth and twentieh-centuries. Her recent publications include Narrativa de la rebelión zapatista. Los relatos del Subcomandante Marcos (Iberoamericana, 2005), Las novelas de la rebelión zapatista (Peter Lang, 2012), Guerre et jeu (ed., con Achim Kupper, Presses Universitaires de Tours, 2014) y La Revolución mexicana. Miradas desde Europa (ed., Peter Lang, 2014). She recently published a book on Nellie Campobello titled Homo ludens en la Revolución.  Una lectura de Nellie Campobello (Iberoamericana-Bonilla Artigas, 2013). Her lecture will be in Spanish. 






Georgina García Gutiérrez Vélez
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México


Title of Lecture:

“La Crítica Literaria de Mariano Azuela”


 El disgusto con la crítica mexicana despierta en Mariano Azuela el interés por ejercerla. Su experiencia cada vez mayor como novelista alimenta los criterios con los que se aproxima a la novela mexicana, desde su personal poética. Me propongo la revisión detenida de los ensayos críticos de Mariano Azuela la cual permitiría ahondar en su concepción de la novela y en sus observaciones acerca del estado del género novelesco en México.








Heribert von Feilitzsch
Historian, 20th-Century German-Mexican Diplomatic Relations

Title of Lecture:

"Medical Doctor, Occultist, Revolutionary, Spy:
Arnold Krumm-Heller
and the Mexican Revolution"



Arnold Krumm-Heller’s book Für Freiheit und Recht (1916) attempted to sway the Imperial German government to support Venustiano Carranza’s Constitutionalist faction in Mexico. As the United States threatened to join Germany’s enemies militarily in the World War, Mexico briefly occupied a strategic center in Germany’s war plans. The doctor and occultist Arnold Krumm-Heller, a German secret service agent and committed Constitutionalist, took center stage in a clandestine mission designed to draw Mexico into a conflict with its northern neighbor. Krumm-Heller was born in 1876 in Germany and had pursued scientific studies in Chile, Peru, and Mexico as a young man. Between 1907 and 1909 he studied medicine in Paris, and became fascinated with the spiritist and occultist movements. He moved to Mexico in 1910 and joined the Freemasons. By the spring of 1911, Krumm-Heller became Madero's private doctor and spiritual advisor. He joined the German naval intelligence agent Felix Sommerfeld and worked undercover in the Mexican Secret Service in 1912. After Madero’s murder, the Constitutionalist leader in Mexico,Venustiano Carranza, sent Krumm-Heller on secret diplomatic missions to Texas. The German agent also served in Alvaro Obregón’s army, first as a doctor, then as Obregón’s chief of artillery. When Obregón lost his arm in the Battle of Celaya (April 1915), Krumm-Heller took charge and dealt Pancho Villa a devastating defeat. While a Constitutionalist officer, Krumm-Heller also served as an agent in the German Secret Service, and as a propagandist for Carranza in the Plan de San Diego unrest (1915 to 1916). Krumm-Heller spoke at Masonic Lodges and Mexican-American gatherings along the U.S.- Mexican border. The civil unrest resulting from the Plan de San Diego activities tied virtually the entire U.S. army on the border in 1916, playing into the hands of the German government. On a diplomatic mission to Germany in 1916, British authorities arrested Krumm-Heller at Falmouth as a spy. Because of his Mexican citizenship he could resume his trip to Berlin where the agent spent the rest of the war as the military attaché for the Mexican embassy. After the war, Krumm-Heller settled permanently in Germany, became a bishop in the Gnostic Church, and in his life time published over twenty-five books.. He died in Germany in 1949. My presentation consists of three points: first, I trace the life and activities of Krumm-Heller during the Mexican Revolution and World War I; second, since little is known about German-Mexican relations during this period, I analyze Krumm-Heller’s involvement in the defeat of Pancho Villa—one of the leading figures of the Mexican Revolution highlighted in Mariano Azuela’s novel Los de abajo (The Underdogs, 1915)—and clarify Krumm-Heller’s activities as a secret agent with ties to both Mexico and Germany during 1910-1920; lastly, I examine Krumm-Heller’s scholarship in the light of his political and spiritist engagements during turbulent times for both Mexico and the world at large. 


Heribert von Feilitzsch grew up in Germany, only yards from the East German border, the "Iron Curtain." After finishing military service in Germany, he moved to the United States in 1988. Fascinated with the Mexican-American border, he pursued a Masters Degree in Latin-American History with focus on the Mexican Revolution at the University of Arizona. The Mexican-American border, devoid of self-shooting machines and mine fields, still constitutes a barrier that divides two cultures, two distinct national identities, and creates a complicated economic and political framework worth studying. While pursuing a business career in later years and adding an MBA from Wake Forest University, he continued to research and write about German-Mexican diplomatic history and the Mexican Revolution. In 2012, von Feilitzsch published a scholarly monograph on Felix A. Sommerfeld, a German naval intelligence agent active in the Mexican Revolution (In Plain Sight: Felix A. Sommerfeld, Spymaster in Mexico, 1908 to 1914). The book is now available in Spanish and German. In 2015, he published a sequel to the Sommerfeld biography with a scholarly analysis of the role of Mexico in World War I (Felix A. Sommerfeld and the Mexican Front in the Great War). He also authored a monograph on the German sabotage campaign in the United States in 1915. Von Feilitzsch continues to pursue his research and give lectures and papers on the Mexican Revolution and the German Secret Service in World War I. He lives on a farm in Northern Virginia with his wife and children.






Michael Nava
Novelist & Attorney,
California Supreme Court, San Francisco   

Title of Lecture:

“Los Léperos: Attempting to Fictionally Reconstruct Racial Relationships 
in the Twilight of the Porfiriato”



In researching and writing The City of Palaces — a novel set in Mexico City in the decades just before and at the beginning of the Revolution — I learned that a signature aspect of the late Porfiriato was the contempt, even hatred, with which the elite viewed the indigenous people.  Among the disparaging terms used to describe this group was los léperos.  In my talk, I will discuss the racist ideology that drove this contempt.  That ideology had its roots, of course, in the Conquest but it also drew on the pseudo-science of eugenics developed in the late Victorian age by, among others, Francis Galton. I will talk about what my research revealed about the cultural, economic and political impacts that this ideology had on the indigenous people of Mexico City in the late Porfiriato. Then I will discuss how I have attempted in The City of Palaces to “fictionalize”  this aspect of that society. Does the Revolution represent the moment when Mexico embraced its indigenous past and, if so, to what degree? Is the Revolution the moment when Mexicans became Mexican? In other words, I will ask whether the Revolution truly was a revolution of consciousness as much, or more, than it was a political revolution.  

Mr. Michael Nava is a third-generation Californian of Mexican descent.  He was born and raised in Sacramento.  He was the first member of his family to go to college, graduating with honors from the Colorado College in 1976.  He received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1981.  He began his legal career as a prosecutor in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office where he gained invaluable experience as a trial lawyer that he later used in his acclaimed series of crime novels featuring a gay Latino criminal defense lawyer named Henry Rios.  The first novel, The Little Death was published in 1986, and was followed by six others:  Goldenboy (1988), The Hidden Law (1990), How Town (1992), The Death of Friends (1994), The Burning Plain (1998) and the final installment, Rag and Bone (2000).  Reviewing Rag and Bone, Marilyn Stasio at the New York Times called him “one of our best.”  The Rios novels earned Nava a total of six Lambda Literary Awards and in 2001 the Whitehead Award for Lifetime Achievement in GLBT Literature as well as  a fellowship from the California Arts Council and an honorary degree as a Doctor of Humane Arts from his alma mater, the Colorado College.  His books have been taught at the college and university level and are discussed in a number of critical and scholarly works including Contemporary Gay Novelists, Emmanuel Nelson, ed. (Greenwood Press, 1993) and Brown Gumshoes: Detective Fiction and the Search for Chicano/a Identity, Ralph Rodriguez (University of Texas Press, 2005).  Nava continues to practice law, as a staff attorney at the California Supreme Court in San Francisco.  His latest novel, The City of Palaces, was published in April 2014 by the University of Wisconsin Press.







Dr. Florence Olivier
Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3, France


Title of Lecture:


"Épica en modo menor o guerrilla narrativa 
en Cartucho, de Nellie Campobello"


Desde la publicación de la primera edición de Cartucho (1931), de Nellie Campobello, esta obra ha sido considerada ora como obra “menor”, ora como obra “mayor”, según una valoración de lo mayor y lo menor que atañe a la crítica literaria tradicional, historicista, esteticista, deudora de la llamada “literatura mayor” y constructora de cánones. La acepción del comparativo “menor” en el ya gastado o rearticulado concepto de “Literatura menor”, inventado por Gilles Deleuze y Félix Guattari para situar la obra de Kafka, permite sin embargo hacer justicia a este libro que, pese a su singularidad, se ha visto, cómoda e incómodamente, clasificado entre las novelas de la revolución mexicana. Las variadas estrategias de miniaturización que operan en Cartucho, las tácticas narrativas guerrilleras a las que recurre el libro para armar un fragmentado y a veces polifónico relato de la lucha villista contra las tropas de Venustiano Carranza apuestan por una visión “menor” de la épica revolucionaria que produce efectos de verdad para un trabajo de memoria, de duelo y de vindicación de los héroes desconocidos u olvidados. Dada la fortuna crítica actual de Cartucho, colocado en el centro del canon de la literatura mexicana del siglo XX desde perspectivas deudoras del feminismo, los estudios subalternos, los estudios textuales, se interrogará la ejemplar reversibilidad de lo menor en mayor en la obra de Nellie Campobello.

Florence Olivier is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Paris III Sorbonne Nouvelle where she has taught since 2009. She specializes in Latin American Literature and is the translator of Nellie Campobello's Cartucho into French, including other translations of works by Diamela Eltit, José Revueltas, Guillermo Samperio, Alain-Paul Mallard, Margo Glantz, and  Rogelio Guedea. She has published critical editions on the novel Los días terrenales by Mexican writer José Revueltas, and the complete Works of Juan Rulfo in the Colección Archivos editions (ALLCA-UNESCO). She is the autor of  Carlos Fuentes o la imaginación del otro (Mexico: Editorial de la Universidad Veracruzana, 2007), a translation of the French edition published in Paris by Aden in 2009 under the title Carlos Fuentes ou l’imagination de l’autre. She has published numerous articles in French and Mexican academic and cultural journals, and is a member of the  Centre d’Études et de Recherches Comparatistes (EA 172), and of the Board of Directors of Research Center at the University of Paris 3 Sorbonne Nouvelle, where she also co-edits the literary journal América. Recent issues include Violence d’Etat, Paroles libératrices (2006), Exils, Migrations, Création. Vol. IV (2008), both published by Editions Indigo, París, and Cultures et conflits/ cultures en conflit (Michel Houdiard, 2009), La littérature latino-américaine au seuil du XXIe siècle. Un parnasse éclaté, co-edited with Françoise Moulin-Civil and Teresa Orecchia-Havas (Aden, 2013). 









Max Parra
University of California, San Diego

Title of Lecture:

"Fotografía y la literatura
de la Revolución Mexicana" 



The Mexican Revolution inevitably brings to mind rebels wearing broad sombreros and cross-chested bandoliers, rifle-bearing female fighters, and uniformed federal soldiers with Indian features, all on the move--traveling by foot, on horses, or inside, atop and even below crowded military trains--, in addition to the emblematic poses of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. These images are drawn from the rich trove of photographs of the civil war that swept the nation and evidence the importance the camera played in the construction of the collective memory of the war--a visual documentation that has been closely studied in the last two decades. This modern visual technology also had an undeniable influence in the writings of key novelists of the revolution and in the renovation of Mexican letters in the 1920s and 30s.  However, the relation between photography and the literature of the revolutionary war has not been given the same critical attention. The literary appropriation of different facets of the culture of photography by the writers in the early 1900s is not a simple matter. The intersection of text and image involves formal problems as well as questions about visual modernity, social agency, memory and history.  With these issues in mind, my presentation will examine the "situational techniques" used to mimic photograph's instantaneous effect and reproduce its unique emotional charge, and explore how and why certain photographic traditions, i.e., the visual economy of postcards (propaganda, public spectacle, social recognition), were incorporated conceptually and/or thematically into the narrative fabric of classic works of several writers of the revolution. 

Dr. Max Parra is an Associate Professor of Latin American literature at the University of California, San Diego. He studied Letras Hispánicas at the University of Mexico (UNAM) and completed his undergraduate degree in New York City’s Hunter College. After obtaining a master’s degree in Spanish literature from NYU he went on to Columbia University, where he completed his doctoral studies in 1992 with a dissertation on communist novelist José Revueltas and Mexican Nationalism. He taught for a year at Middlebury College, in Vermont, before accepting a position in the Department of Literature at UCSD. Prof. Parra  has written dozens of articles on Latin American culture and the literature of the Mexican Revolution. His book Writing Pancho Villa’s Revolution. Rebels in the Literary Imaginaton of Mexico was published in 2006 by the University of Texas Press. He was a board member of the California Council for the Humanities in 2007-2008 and from 2008 to 2010 served as the Executive Director of the Casa de la Universidad de California in Mexico City. Prof. Parra is a founding member of UC Mexicanistas, a collaborative group of scholars originating in the UC system that studies Mexican literature, history and culture. His current research includes exploring the relation between literature and photography in Mexican narratives of the early 1900s and the study of emerging cultural, ethnic, and military transterritorial cartographies in the U.S. and Mexico.






Niamh Thornton
University of Liverpool, United Kingdom

Title of Lecture:

"A Question of Taste:
The Cinematic Adaptations of Los de abajo"


There are two film adaptations of Mariano Azuela's novel Los de abajo.  A 1940 version by the popular filmmaker of the Golden Age, Chano Urueta, and a 1978 adaptation by the controversial filmmaker, Servando González. Neither were critically or commercially successful. As adaptations of novelas de la Revolución, they are not unique in this.  Few of the hundreds of films set during the Revolution have been granted the prestige of acceptance into what is a select canon. Engaging with ideas of taste and Pierre Bordieu's concept of "distinction" this paper will position the films with regards to contemporary films of the Revolution and consider their place in Mexican cinematic history.

Dr. Niamh Thornton is Senior Lecturer in Latin American Studies at the University of Liverpool. She is a specialist in Latin American Studies with a particular focus on the film, literature and digital culture of Mexico. She has a research interest in the war story, the Mexican Revolution, the creation of online selves through online tools and sites, and star studies.  She has published on Mexican and Chicana/o film, new medias, and literature. She is the author of Women and the Novela de la Revolución in Mexico (2006), and Revolution and Rebellion in Mexican Cinema (2013). She has published several co-edited volumes.  The most recent of these is with Catherine Leen, International Perspectives on Chicana/o Culture: "This World is My Place."  More details on her publications and research projects can be found on her website: http://www.niamhthornton.net/current-projects/


.






Maarten Van Delden
University of California, Los Angeles

Title of Lecture:

"Carlos Fuentes:
Many Mexicos, Many Revolutions"


The US historian Lesley Byrd Simpson famously claimed that there was not one Mexico, but many Mexicos. Throughout his long career as a writer, the Mexican novelist, short-story writer and essayist Carlos Fuentes sustained a similar vision of the multi-leveled nature of Mexican history, society and culture. Fuentes's conception of the many Mexicos was borne out through his intense engagement with the history and aftermath of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. In this lecture, I will discuss how the Mexican Revolution was for Fuentes not one Revolution, but many Revolutions. This is clear, in the first place, from his conception of the Mexican Revolution as a socio-political explosion, or fiesta, in which Mexico's complex and multi-faceted past came fully to life (an idea he took from Octavio Paz).  But it is also clear from the profound schism running through Fuentes's views of the Revolution, which alternates between a utopian, sacralizing perspective on the one hand, and a mocking, satirical one on the other. 


Dr. Maarten Van Delden is Professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Carlos Fuentes, Mexico, and Modernity (Vanderbilt University Press, 1998), which was recognized as an “Outstanding Scholarly Book” by Choice Magazine, and co-author (with Yvon Grenier) of Gunshots at the Fiesta: Literature and Politics in Latin America (Vanderbilt University Press, 2009).  In addition, he is the author of numerous articles and reviews on topics in the fields of Mexican Studies, Latin American Literature, Comparative Literature, and U.S. American literature. 








Conference Panelists, Titles of Presentations, and Abstracts


The “Man-Beast” and the Jaguar: Mariano Azuela, Martín Luis Guzmán and the Sovereign Beast in the Literary Representation of Pancho Villa”
Michael Abeyta, University of Colorado, Denver

            In “Algo sobre novela mexicana contemporánea” Mariano Azuela comments on the mastery of Martín Luis Guzmán’s depiction of General Francisco Villa and gives as an example one of the most iconic portraits of Pancho Villa in El águila y la serpiente. Villa is portrayed as a beast in its lair: “un no sé qué de la fiera en su cubil; pero de la fiera que se defiende, no de la fiera que ataca, fiera que apenas comienza a cobrar confianza, sin estar segura de que no la acometará de pronto otra, queriéndola devorar.” Azuela also cites Guzmán’s description of Villa as a jaguar.  This paper examines the uses of the animal image to characterize Villa in the works of Azuela and Guzmán in the light of the polemics around Villa in the post-revolutionary period, but also in terms of Villa’s manipulation of his image in his autobiographic writings and letters.  As the title of the article suggests, the examination also examines the animal metaphors in relation to Jacques Derrida’s discussion about the relationship between sovereignty and power, on the one hand, and the anthropocentric constructs of beastliness, bêtise. These constructs are alien to animality and yet are intimately tied to the question of sovereignty.  The discussion will also examine Jorge Aguilar Mora’s defense of Villa’s animality, which offers a positive interpretation of the animal metaphors, and Max Parra’s discussion of the problem of subaltern agency in Azuela and Guzmán in relation to Villa’s representation and the question of sovereignty.


“La Revolución Mexicana a través de la lente/mirada femenina”
Iliana Alcántar, Reed College, Oregon

            Al final de la primera parte de Los de abajo, cuando Luis Cervantes y Alberto Solís contemplan los estragos de la lucha al término de una batalla, éste último, extasiado, exclama: “¡Qué hermosa es la Revolución, aun en su misma barbarie!” Sin duda alguna, esta fascinación de Solís por la Revolución Mexicana es compartida por varios escritores del siglo pasado al elegirla como tema principal, periférico o alegórico de sus obras. Sin embargo, varios han sido los críticos que refiriéndose a la novela de la Revolución Mexicana han apuntado que en lugar de dicho género contamos más bien con la “antinovela” de la Revolución, ya que las obras consagradas bajo esta rúbrica se caracterizan por mostrar un obvio descontento, desencanto y hasta repudio por las ramificaciones del conflicto armado, y en muchas de las ocasiones, aunque en diferentes niveles, por sus respectivos protagonistas.
            Asimismo, como evidencia el catálogo fílmico mexicano, esta crítica explícita por parte de escritores tales como Mariano Azuela, Martín Luis Guzmán, Rafael F. Muñoz, Nellie Campobello, Carlos Fuentes, incluso Juan Rulfo, por nombrar sólo algunos, se traduce al ámbito del cine nacional. Desde la conocida trilogía de Fernando de Fuentes El prisionero 13 (1933), El compadre Mendoza (1935) y ¡Vámonos con Pancho Villa! (1936), la cual explora la corrupción y el abuso de poder que permean el conflicto armado, así como muestra sus efectos negativos en la sociedad posrevolucionaria, pasando por obras más recientes como La ley de Herodes (1999) y el documental Los últimos Zapatistas, héroes olvidados (2002) cuyas temáticas continúan la representación cinematográfica del fracaso y desilusión de la experiencia de la Revolución Mexicana.
            Por lo tanto, este trabajo toma como punto de partida dicha visión y estética del desencanto para analizar cómo representan las directoras mexicanas la experiencia de la Revolución. Como expresa Laura Mulvey, en gran medida la mujer ha sido excluida de las tradiciones creativas, incluyendo las artes visuales, y por el mismo motivo, ésta ha tenido que articular una oposición al sexismo cultural y descubrir un medio de expresión que rompa con un arte que había dependido para su existencia, en un concepto de creación exclusivamente masculino. Entonces, algunas de las preguntas que trataremos de responder en este estudio son, ¿hay alguna diferencia en el modo que las mujeres representan el conflicto armado mexicano de principios del siglo veinte? Y de ser así, ¿en qué consiste la diferencia o diferencias? Específicamente se analizarán dos cortometrajes hechos a raíz de la conmemoración de los cien años de la gesta revolucionaria y que son parte de la premisa creativa Revolución (2010), obra que reúne diez cortos de diez minutos aproximadamente cada uno. “La tienda de raya”, de Mariana Chenillo (México, 1977) y “Lindo y querido”, de Patricia Riggen (México, 1970), aprovechan el tema para continuar una exploración y crítica de la Revolución Mexicana. Sin embargo, estas directoras deciden enfocar la mirada en el ámbito privado y personal. Estos espacios, como sabemos ofrecen una capacidad de resistencia y reinterpretación al sujeto femenino y en este caso, una nueva aproximación y distintas posibilidades de análisis a la indiscutible barbarie que ha sido y representado la Revolución Mexicana.


"Accidentes de tráfico. Itinerario de Mariano Azuela"
Fernando Curiel Defossé, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

            Comparada con las de línea recta (Sin que alteren la trayectoria ni las curvas ni las vueltas en U); obsequiosas de señas y reglas de circulación; con un punto de partida y otro de llegada; la de Mariano Azuela es una carrera literaria sumamente accidentada. En sus propios tiempos y en los que corresponden a la huidiza y caprichosa posteridad. La ponencia se ocupa de los distintos incidentes de la accidentada carrera literaria de Mariano Azuela, a partir de la novela "Los de abajo".


“Mariano Azuela, la Novela de la Revolución y la Revolución Mexicana vistos por los Escritores Españoles”
Aurora Díez-Canedo, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

            Mariano Azuela, Los de abajo y la revolución mexicana coinciden en Europa con los años de la Gran Guerra, la neutralidad de España y su transición a la Segunda República, la posguerra, la “decadencia de Occidente”. Los críticos, los intelectuales y las traducciones contribuirán a crear una imagen de México que oscila entre el exotismo y la expectación hacia Hispanoamérica como el lugar en donde habrían de surgir aires de renovación cultural y social. Lo testimonial y lo local de la novela de la Revolución pone al descubierto una realidad que interesará en la década de los veinte a escritores de España como Valle Inclán y Luis Araquistáin; por otro lado definirá la vocación de Martín Luis Guzmán.


“The Tremendous Reality of Firing Squads”
Sophie Esch, Colorado State University

            Firing squads figure prominently in songs and literary texts about the Mexican Revolution. These depictions of firing squads are not just a reflection of the historical circumstances, but also a means of negotiating and deciphering the meaning of the revolution. Firing squads represented “una tremenda realidad”—to use Martín Luis Guzmán's words. With regard to firing squads, there is the sense of self and fatality in corridos, the humorous, elitist distance in “De fusilamientos” by Julio Torri, the poet's evasion in Mariano Azuela's Los de abajo, the intellectual ambiguity in El águila y la serpiente by Guzmán, and the curious albeit compassionate gaze in Cartucho by Nellie Campobello. I argue that through their representations of firing squads these authors discuss and display their most tremendous—mighty, sublime, distressing—findings and appreciations of the revolutionary process. I contend that in El águila y la serpiente firing squads imply the realization that modernity can be violent and cruel, 'civilized' and 'barbarous' at the same time. The letrado grapples with this realization since it means the implosion of one of the ordering principles of Latin American thought: the dichotomy between civilization and barbarism. In Nellie Campobello's Cartucho, on the other hand, firing squads point to both the dignity and trauma of revolutionary war. I argue that by retaining the gestures of the fusilados the narrator highlights the precariousness of rising up in arms and reminds the postrevolutionary state of the law-destroying violence/force to which it owes its existence--echoing Walter Benjamin's conceptualization in "Critique of Violence."


"Recepción de Mariano Azuela por parte de los Contemporáneos"
María de Lourdes Franco Bagnouls, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

            La literatura mexicana de la primera mitad del  siglo XX suele dividirse tajantemente en dos grandes vertientes: la literatura nacionalista y la literatura de vanguardia. La primera, a la que se calificó como “literatura viril”, pretendía caracterizar lo mexicano a partir de la exaltación heroica de la gesta revolucionaria y del folclor; particularizando la literatura nacional y conceptualizándola como una expresión exclusiva de una forma particular de pensamiento y de un lenguaje representativo del sentir popular. Por otro lado, la literatura denominada como de vanguardia fue acusada muchas veces de extranjerizante y desarraigada. Sin embargo, es innegable que esta última no pretende diluirse en las literaturas de otras latitudes sino insertar lo mexicano en el ámbito universal. Mientras la corriente nacionalista era muchas veces reduccionista, la literatura de vanguardia miraba más allá de las fronteras. Aunque ambas tendencias se plantean en apariencia como irreconciliables, esto, en la práctica, no fue siempre así. Torres Bodet califica al arte mexicano como la representación de Jano, con sus dos caras; pero a pesar de esta percepción, la crítica vanguardista supo separar la paja de la mies y encontrar y exaltar, dentro de la narrativa tradicionalmente realista, aquellas expresiones que por su calidad lograron trascender el espacio local y convertirse en baluartes de lo mexicano universal. Tal es el caso de la obra de Mariano Azuela con quien los Contemporáneos mantuvieron una estrecha relación y cuya obra fue ampliamente valorada a través de sus análisis críticos.
            El tercer número de la revista que da nombre al grupo incluye un fragmento de La Luciérnaga aunque sufre al final una mutilación que bien pudo ser un error o también un afán de dejar la novela  con un final abierto.   El juicio inteligente de Jaime Torres Bodet rescata lo que a juicio tanto de él como de sus cofrades enaltece y singulariza a Azuela: “[ …]fue mucho ya el haber enfocado, con esa audacia de novelista, con ese temblor característico también, el caso de la Revolución Mexicana sin caer en confusas digresiones demagógicas ni en error de gusto alguno”.
            or su parte, Bernardo Ortiz de Montellano, uno de los miembros del grupo más olvidados a pesar de ser el director de la revista Contemporáneos, realza la importancia innegable de la obra de Azuela como novelista en un ensayo titulado: “Literatura de la revolución y literatura revolucionaria” alude en paralelo a Los de abajo y a El águila y la serpiente de Martín Luis Guzmán en estos términos: “─Aquella [Los de abajo] más íntegramente artística─ son, hasta ahora, las obras mejores de nuestra literatura de la Revolución por sus cualidades específicas que otros escritores afectos a los mismos temas no han logrado alcanzar”. No opina lo mismo, sin embargo, del acierto de Azuela como autor teatral; dice a propósito de Los casiques: “Entre la novela y el teatro no media sino un abismo. Mariano Azuela, novelista nato, sin retórica de novelista, pero con un gran instinto que lo guía con firmeza por los pasajes más intrincados del difícil arte de la novela, no es ─todavía─ un autor de teatro”.
Un ejemplo más corrobora el interés que la narrativa de Mariano Azuela despertó entre los Contemporáneos no solamente en el contexto de la revista que les dio nombre, sino a lo largo de su paso por diferentes órganos críticos como fueron las revistas Letras de México y El Hijo Pródigo.
            Xavier Villaurrutia quien siempre se caracterizó por su agudeza crítica afirma contundentemente que “Los de abajo y La Malhora de Azuela, son novelas revolucionarias en cuanto se oponen, más conscientemente la segunda que la primera, a las novelas mexicanas que las precedieron inmediatamente en el tiempo” y dice más: “No admiro tanto en Mariano Azuela la economía y sencillez de sus medios como la rapidez con que los hace vivir”.
Si de resumir lo resumido se tratara podríamos afirmar que más que exaltar la temática nacionalista de Azuela, los Contemporáneos dialogan acerca de las dotes que como cultivador del género tuvo el autor. Novelista nato, escritor ágil y consciente de la materia que tiene en sus manos, Azuela se consagra como la pieza que concilia esas dos caras de Jano que sentencia Torres Bodet.


“Experimentalismo y representación urbana en La Luciérnaga de Mariano Azuela”
Yanna Hadatty Mora, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

            El momento de mayor ruptura dentro de la escritura de Mariano Azuela corresponde a la década que en años pasados hemos considerado como de emergencia de la prosa vanguardista, pues cubre de la publicación de La Malhora (1923), a La luciérnaga (1932), pasando por El desquite (1925).  La luciérnaga, última de las novelas del período experimental del autor, narración que el mismo Azuela reconoce como su mayor éxito ante los críticos literarios, según Luis Leal “elaborada en 1926”, se publica en Madrid en 1932, y es vista en general por la crítica como su segunda mejor novela después de la preeminente Los de abajo.
La compleja estructura de la obra se debe a que, más que iniciar in medias res, está armada en continuos saltos temporales, y obedece a un plan absolutamente moderno de escritura. Éste parece bastante más complejo que lo que confiesa el mismo Azuela, cuando confiesa haber estudiado con detenimiento la técnica que consistiría “nada menos que en el truco ahora bien conocido de retorcer palabras y frases, oscurecer conceptos y expresiones, para obtener el efecto de novedad”.  Si se intenta ordenar la trama recontando los acontecimientos, por ejemplo, se puede afirmar que el derrotero de Dionisio Bermejillo y familia coincide con el de muchos migrantes del interior de la República que se asoman en esos convulsivos años a la ciudad de México. Provenientes de Cieneguilla, llegan a la capital en los años veinte, se alojan los primeros días en un hotel del centro que les resulta muy oneroso, y pasan pronto a vivir en una vecindad, sita en Avenida Jesús Carranza 158, colonia Morelos, y más adelante en la colonia de la Bolsa. Una  trayectoria de corrupción, deterioro físico y moral, desunión, marca la caída de los provincianos esperanzados en hacer fortuna en la capital, lo que, según su principal crítico de la época, Francisco Monterde, sería el tema recurrente en Azuela.  El espacio que emerge es “[n]o la ciudad de calles céntricas y colonias rumbosas, sino la ciudad andrajosa dilapidada de vicio”, al decir de Raymundo Ramos.
Esta ponencia intenta comparar cómo las descripciones de las colonias Morelos y de la Bolsa, se presentan con estrategias a la vez experimentales y de denuncia, y ver cómo coinciden además con las fotografías de Edward Weston (1926) y sobre todo de Tina Modotti (1927-1928) en cuanto a la cronología, el referente y la estética. 

“Literary Revolution in the Borderlands: Mariano Azuela and the Mexican American Novel of the Mexican Revolution ”
Yolanda Padilla, University of Washington, Bothell

            Mariano Azuela’s Los de abajo (1915) has long been considered the quintessential “novel of the Mexican Revolution”—the narrative thematic that both initiates and defines Mexico’s national literary tradition. Ironically, however, the novel was first published in a Spanish-language newspaper in El Paso, Texas. While Mexicanists have ignored the fact of the novel’s publication on la frontera, Chicana/o scholars have long expressed intrigue at the possibilities of reading Los de abajo through U.S. contexts. In this presentation, I argue that Los de abajo should be seen as the departure point of two deeply intertwined but ultimately divergent literary currents. The first, the classic novel of the Revolution, promoted a centrist Mexican perspective, one that depicted the stories of the war’s dislocated and dispossessed as narrative closures, dead ends that had no generative potential for the national future. Azuela is rightly placed at the head of this tradition—he initiated the focus on rural insurgency, peasant subjectivities, and popular styles that are its defining elements, and critics have noted the ways in which he simultaneously brings into representation and discredits the rural masses as primitive, barbarous, and irrational. I suggest, however, that Los de abajo provides a multifaceted representation of the insurgent peasantry, and that its thematization of dislocation, dispossession, and migration demands that it also be situated at the head of a second, lesser-known literary current. Such literature interrogates the Revolution from a Mexican American perspective articulated from the vantage point of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands. I call this literary current the ‘other’ novel of the Revolution, indicating narratives that demand a reckoning with the refuse of nations—those migrants, immigrants, and border subjects who were cut loose by the Mexican nationalist project, and who subsequently probed the cracks in that project from a transnational perspective. Writers such as Leonor Villegas de Magnón, Josefina Niggli, Américo Paredes, and José Antonio Villareal refused the artificial exclusions of national boundaries, and demanded understandings of Mexican history and culture that were transnational in scope. In so doing, they worked to emplot issues into the Mexican tradition that reflected their local conditions as members of an emerging and embattled ethnic group—issues that included territorial dispossession and racial conflict—and that consequently pointed to and critiqued the neocolonial relationship between Mexico and the United States.

“El último lector (2005) de David Toscana y la vigencia de Juan Rulfo en la creación de una narrativa regional mexicana en el Siglo XXI”
Julio Puente García, University of California, Los Angeles

Con la publicación de tan solo dos libros, El Llano en llamas (1953) y Pedro Páramo (1955), Juan Rulfo se convirtió en un autor consagrado y hoy en día es considerado un clásico de las letras mexicanas. La obra rulfiana ha sido reconocida por su modernidad y admirada por su universalidad, sin embargo, no podemos dejar de lado que sus historias se encuentran relacionadas con la realidad, muchas veces cotidiana, del México Posrevolucionario. Ante la cada vez más común producción de narrativa mexicana marcada por la globalización y que pretende enraizarse en una corriente cosmopolita, esta ponencia se enfoca en las posturas críticas contra este tipo de producción literaria formuladas por el escritor regiomontano David Toscana en su novela El último lector (2005). La ponencia intentará mostrar cómo Toscana utiliza la obra de Rulfo para construir una novela en la que postula un regreso a la creación de una narrativa regional enfocada en la cotidianidad de una región real, pero a la misma vez reinventada a través de la ficción: el pueblo de Icamole en Nuevo León, el lugar en el que Porfirio Díaz recibió una humillante derrota militar antes de convertirse en presidente y que le generó entre sus enemigos el apodo de “El llorón de Icamole.” La ponencia no abogará por replantear la obra de Rulfo dentro de una corriente regionalista, categorizarla de esta manera sería caer en una reducción tremenda, además de negar los grandes aportes hechos por la crítica hasta el momento. Me interesa, sí, resaltar la forma en que Toscana retoma ciertos aspectos de la obra de Rulfo para formular su caso, y de esta manera, darle cierta continuidad a la obra del escritor jalisciense.

“Relearning the Revolution: The Contemporary Relevance of the Novela de la Revolución in the Classroom at San José State University”
Cheyla Samuelson, San José State University

            La novela de la revolución is a specifically Mexican genre, focused on a particular time period in Mexican history. The genre owes much of its vitality and staying power to the eternal debate about the effects of the revolutionary movement, and its relevance for understanding events and problematics in today’s Mexico. In the Fall of 2014, I had the opportunity to teach a graduate level class on the novela de la revolución, at San Jose State University. All of my students were enrolled in the Master’s program in Spanish in the Department of World Languages and Literatures, and the vast majority of the students in the class were either Mexican American, or Mexican nationals. Many had been raised to commemorate the Revolution as a proud event in Mexico’s history, and remember dressing up as Adelitas and Soldados as children to celebrate the day.
            In this paper, I address these students’ reactions to the largely critical stance of many novels and non-fiction essays dealing with the Mexican Revolution, including Mariano Azuela’s Los de abajo, Nellie Campobello’s Cartucho, Carlos Fuentes’s La muerte de Artemio Cruz, and Octavio Paz’s El laberinto de la soledad. For many, the experience of reading these texts was one of disillusionment, but also of enlightenment. One of the central points of debate in the class was to what extent can Mexico’s present problems be linked to structures established during and after the Revolution. The students drew very personal lines of connection between the caudillismo in Los de Abajo, the machismo apparent in Cartucho and the corruption decried in La muerte de Artemio Cruz, with real examples from today’s Mexico. I was impressed by the power of the students’ reactions to these works, and by their sense that the literature remains relevant to the understanding of Mexico’s history and development. In this way, la novela de la revolución can serve as a dynamic optic for teaching about the effects and outcomes of the Mexican Revolution, and for grappling with the problems facing Mexico today.

“Dos perspectivas sobre los revolucionarios villistas: Mariano Azuela y Nellie Campobello”
Ute Seydel, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

            La gran mayoría de las representaciones acerca de las diversas fases de la Revolución Mexicana provienen de la pluma de los hombres. Han aportado tanto testimonios y crónicas como relatos ficcionales, fotografías, largometrajes y obras pictóricas sobre la fase armada de este conflicto y las décadas posteriores en las que los caudillos se integraron a la vida política, se crearon nuevas instituciones y se empezaron a consolidar los nuevos grupos en el poder. En Los de abajo, Azuela plasmó sus propias experiencias como médico militar villista. Asimismo integró en su novela, publicada en 1916 por entregas, diversos relatos escuchados de los revolucionarios. Por su parte, Nelly Campobello es la primera escritora que significa e interpreta la Revolución en Cartucho. Relatos de la lucha en el Norte de México (1931). A partir de procesos de rememoración, representa la forma en que ella, siendo niña y adolescente, las mujeres y otros niños experimentaron los años en los que en la vida cotidiana se vieron confrontados con la muerte, el hambre, el miedo y la violencia.
            Mientras que en la novela de Azuela se mitifica al personaje Demetrio Macías, un campesino humilde que destaca en las filas villistas por su heroísmo, Campobello mitifica en Cartucho al personaje histórico, Francisco Villa, a quien los constitucionalistas vencedores denostaron durante los primeros lustros posrevolucionarios. En la ponencia se compararán las dos perspectivas desde las cuales los dos escritores se acercan al villismo.

“Ésta me cuadra y me la llevo:” el saqueo, el analfabetismo y las disposiciones estéticas en Los de abajo”
Amber Workman, Pepperdine University

            La novela clásica de la Revolución Mexicana Los de abajo (1915) abre con una “escena” en la que unos federales entran en la casa de Demetrio Macías, exigen comida, intentan abusar a su esposa y luego prenden fuego a la vivienda del ranchero zacatecano. Este encuentro sirve como catalizador a otros eventos desarrollados en la novela, pues incita a Demetrio y otros rancheros locales a levantarse en armas en contra del cacique responsable por enviar a los soldados. Aunque Demetrio y sus hombres participan en varias batallas y emboscadas en contra del ejército federal, al final de la novela siguen siendo “los de abajo” ya que al regresar al Cañón de Juchipila, se dan cuenta de que poco ha cambiado. Sin embargo, para los revolucionarios de Azuela algo casi tan importante como el éxito en el combate son los botines de guerra, pues a lo largo de la novela, Macías y los soldados roban, saquean o destruyen todo lo relacionado con la cultura burguesa a la que se oponen. Puesto que el saqueo es un tema constante en Los de abajo, la ponencia se enfoca en la toma de la propiedad ajena en la novela y en particular su relación con el analfabetismo de Macías y sus soldados y la formación de lo que Pierre Bourdieu llama “el sentido social del gusto”.

“Los árboles no dejan ver el bosque: proceso dialéctico connotativo
ético de las palabras arriba-abajo en Los de debajo”
Yunsook Kim, Azusa Pacific University

            La crítica no se ha dedicado, conscientemente, al estudio de Los de abajo como texto connotativo, literario, y en la práctica sigue tratándolo como texto denotativo, principalmente testimonial, revolucionario o antirrevolucionario, sobre la Revolución mexicana. Influyó en ello el hecho de que Azuela participó en la Revolución, subtituló la obra Cuadros, en vez de Novela, y la publicó en folletines separados de un periódico, El Paso del Norte. Azuela refuerza lo novelesco y unitario de la obra sólo a partir de la primera edición en forma de libro, la anuncia como Novela, y la corrige. La obra cae en el olvido, hasta que es “descubierta” en 1925 y gana incontables lectores; Azuela continúa corrigiendo escenas y personajes y, a pesar de que empiezan a aparecer trabajos que la reconocen como obra literaria y que la crítica – particularmente la de Seymour Menton (1967), y Stanley L. Robe (1979) - evidencia la composición estructural lineal y la caracterización de personajes, el valor connotativo literario unitario sigue, básicamente, invisible para críticos como Jorge Rufinelli (1988), quienes siguen creyendo que la obra y su título, Los de abajo, denotan a “aquellos que se encuentran en el fondo de la escala social, a los pobres”, y que “los de arriba” denota a “la figura de don Mónico, los hacendados […etc.]”. Pero en mi ponencia me propongo examinar las palabras “arriba, abajo”, para mostrar que en el desarrollo de la obra, los que ascienden al poder o están en el poder, económico, político, militar, son “los de abajo” porque descienden en valores humanos, y que quienes carecen de tales poderes, los desheredados, muchas veces ascienden y son “los de arriba”, en valores y principios éticos, en un proceso dialéctico connotado en esta novela eminentemente ética.

“Indigeneity and Colonialist Perspectives in the Novel of the Revolution”
Ariel Zatarain Tumbaga, Southern Oregon University

In Las moscas (1918), Mariano Azuela writes, “--La verdad es que los yaquis lo hicieron todo.  ¡Malditas alimañas!” Azuela’s novel reflects Mexicans’ narrow views of the indigenous nation, whose revolutionary battalions fought under General Álvaro Obregón: views that ignore that the Yaqui-Obregón alliance was contingent on a native land struggle in Sonora.  Influenced by European literary styles, authors of the Revolution also reproduced dominant nineteenth century ideologies: Positivism, Social Darwinism and Lombrosian criminology.  This is why Max Parra proposes the founding works Azuela and Martín Luis Guzmán to be “‘master narratives’ for a literary tradition in which cultural Otherness is celebrated and endorsed as well as, paradoxically, discredited and suppressed” (Writing Pancho Villa’s Revolution). 
As part of my larger book project, this presentation explores the relationship between indigeneity—or indigenous identity—, subalternity and ideology in the literature of José Rubén Romero and Martín Luis Guzmán.  The authors of the Revolution practiced what John Beverley dubbed an “epistemological privilege” in their representations of indigenous people (Subalternity and Representation).  In José Rubén Romero’s Apuntes de un lugareño (1932), for example, the Purépechas of the island of Janitzio are orientalized through their “pómulos salientes y aquellos ojos pequeños y fríos” and resemble people of “el Zipango distante, entre bonzos austeros, mandarines impasibles o samurais de leyenda.” In El águila y la serpiente (1928), Martín Luis Guzmán describes the caudillo Francisco Villa’s gaze “como el indio yaqui mira cuanto cae dentro de su vista: como posibilidad de blanco para disparar.” As such, I will read Mexican Revolutionary literature through what Walter D. Mignolo calls a Spanish and Mexican “epistemic colonial difference” that delegitimizes indigenous forms of knowledge and history (The Idea of Latin America).  In this sense, Romero’s Apuntes will be studied as a text that reproduces Spanish colonial perspectives of indigenous people during the Mexican Revolution.  And I will analyze Guzmán’s complicated understanding of the Yaquis as (1) representatives of Mexico’s northern barbarie (that is, people whom the Jesuits had failed to civilize), and (2) exemplary soldiers of the victorious Northwestern army.  I will demonstrate how for both novelists aboriginals are both irredeemable Others and an integral part of Mexican identity.           

“Jean-Luc Nancy’s Mythical Community in Carlos Fuentes’ Gringo viejo
Jacqueline Zimmer, Louisiana State University

            This paper examines the relevance of Jean-Luc Nancy’s philosophical writings on the mythical community to Carlos Fuentes’ depiction of the Mexican Revolution in Gringo viejo. Nancy’s conception of the mythical community is that which proposes either a founding fiction of an ideal community to be recovered, or a fiction that conceals the self-constituting mechanisms of the existing regime. In La communauté désoeuvrée, Nancy concedes that because the myth only has meaning through the community, and because different societies are constantly endeavoring to consummate such myths, the myth becomes a real artifact upon which culture is based. However, Nancy warns that a nation or a political state that has as its goal the formation of a community of immanence inevitably leads to totalitarianism, which will ultimately cause the community in question to close in on itself and render Nancy’s community of living-with in terms of being-singular-plural impossible.
In Carlos Fuentes’ works, the myth of national quells and suppresses controversy against the ruling elite, and thus prevents the sort of social change that Fuentes conceives of as necessary to implement a strong, democratic governmental structure. In Gringo viejo, General Tomás Arroyo embodies the discrepancy between the Mexican Revolution’s ideal to reclaim land from wealthy hacienda owners, and the pursuit of individual security through Mexico’s heritage of inheritance. General Tomás Arroyo, the bastard son of the wealthy Miranda family, has abandoned his homestead to flee Mexico with his family as Revolutionary forces encroach upon the Miranda hacienda. We come to realize that Arroyo is consumed by vindictive motives to exploit the Revolution in order to seek revenge on the Miranda estate, which relegated him to a life of servitude and shame before he became a revolutionary. However, after his army takes over the estate, Arroyo loses sight of his loyalty to the Revolution’s ideals, and becomes preoccupied with claiming the Miranda estate as his birthright.
            In this paper, I will analyze the conflict between Arroyo and the Old Gringo and the complications that arise out of the rupture between the myth of achieving revolutionary ideals and the ability to perpetuate the heritage of land inheritance. In doing so, I will investigate Arroyo’s hypocritical shift away from his revolutionary impulses, and how this shift suggests that the endurance of the Mexican Revolution is only possible as long as the truth of the achievement of its ideals is never achieved. Moreover, I will examine how the Old Gringo’s participation in the Revolution illuminates the mythical ground upon which the conception of the Revolution as a utopia rests. Ultimately, this paper is concerned with how Fuentes exposes the myth of national unity in Gringo viejo, and how such exposure is necessary for destabilizing totalitarian regimes, as well as for fostering a discourse that can lead to new definitions of community that align with Nancy’s notion of being-singular-plural.












Dr. Jeanine “Gigi” Gaucher-Morales

     The Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lecture Series has been established by the Morales Family Lecture Series Endowment in memory of the late Dr. Jeanine (Gigi) Gaucher-Morales, who passed away on May 20, 2007. Born in Paris, France, Dr. Gaucher-Morales was a professor emerita of French and Spanish at Cal State L.A. She taught from 1965 to 2005, thus devoting four decades of her academic life to Cal State L.A., where her friends, students, and colleagues knew her as Gigi.
     During her long and productive tenure at this campus, Gigi taught generations of students the literature and culture of France, of the Anglophone world, and of Latin America, including the Caribbean. With her husband, Dr. Alfredo O. Morales, also professor emeritus of Spanish, she co-founded, directed, and served as advisor of Teatro Universitario en Español for almost 25 years, bringing to Cal State L.A. annual theater productions based on plays stemming from different traditions and languages, such as the Maya ("Los enemigos"), Colonial Mexico ("Aguila Real"), Spanish ("Bodas de sangre"), French ("The Little Prince"), and English ("Under the Bridge"). In addition, Gigi was the founder at Cal State L.A. of Pi Delta Phi, the national French honor society. She was recognized and honored by the French government for her contributions to the knowledge of French civilization in Latin America and the United States. Gigi was also honored by her peers at Cal State L.A. with the 1991-1992 Outstanding Professor Award.
     On March 7, 1997, Gigi was recognized by the Council of the City of Los Angeles, State of California, with a resolution that in part reads as follows: “Be it resolved that by the adoption of this resolution, the Los Angeles City Council does hereby commend Dr. Jeanine 'Gigi' Gaucher-Morales valued Professor of Spanish and French at California State University, Los Angeles for her vision and her gift to the people of Los Angeles and for contributing to the richness of multi-cultural arts in Los Angeles.”

     Every spring quarter, the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Lectures will honor Gigi’s academic ideals as a teacher, colleague, and mentor. The lectures will respond to Gigi’s diverse yet interconnected interests in civilizations of the world, such as Mesoamerica and those of the Andes, Latin America, Asia, and Francophone America, from Canada to Haiti. Gigi embodied the highest academic standards in a range of academic fields that were truly global and interdisciplinary. The Memorial Lectures shall serve as a forum for distinguished guest speakers who engage vital topics of our age in a world setting, thus offering students, staff, and faculty at Cal State L.A. an opportunity to be critically exposed to different areas of study and artistic traditions that constitute the highest cultural aspirations of humanity. In May 5-6, 2016 the Gigi Gaucher-Morales Memorial Conference Series will sponsor a conference on Américo Paredes (1915-2009). For the call for papers and conference-related information, visit:  http://americoatcalstatela.blogspot.com/

http://americoatcalstatela.blogs

http://ellisatcalstatela.blogspot.com/




"Memorias de un Mexicano"
(Film Footage of the Mexican Revolution)







"Los Rollos Perdidos de Pancho Villa"
(A Documentary)









No comments:

Post a Comment